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Zambezi Whitewater Festival

13th to 16th October 2023

Zambezi Whitewater Festival - rafting competition on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls

White water rafting festival on the Zambezi River
(source: SafPar)

The Event

The Zambezi White water festival is an annual celebration of the wild Zambezi River below the Victoria Falls. Rafting in the area is a very popular activity, drawing visitors from all around the world for exhilarating world-class rafting trips. The two-day event is hosted on the Livingstone side of the river (Zambia), packed with big water and timed tasks, accompanied by live entertainment in the evenings, craft stalls, great food and drinks - fun, fun, fun.

Teams of six skippered by an International Rafting Federation accredited guide will battle it out for the grand title and some rather grand prizes

Day 1 – Arrival Day
Starting from lunch time and through the afternoon, team registration will be open at The Waterfront, Livingstone, Zambia where teams will get kitted out for the next 2 days.

Day 2 – Competition Day 1
Breakfast is at 7h45, then it's Zambezi time! The race takes place from Rapid #1 – #13. A Zambezi Test of the Best - a timed race from the Boiling Pot below Victoria Falls to the eddy below rapid #4 "Morning Glory". Rafts set off at one minute intervals, times are converted into points - Race water distance: 2300m. A Zambezi Le Mans sprint - mass start from the pool below Rapid # 5 to the pool above rapid #7. One team member to touch attainment point on river bank at finish. There is a strong element of moving on the rocks here to reach attainment point. Team finishing positions and times accrue points. Race water distance: 700m. A kayak slalom race at rapid #7 - One raft at a time down the course with attainment areas, start at Rapid #12 pool. Finish-jailhouse eddy Rapid #13. A timed race with time penalties for missing attainment targets, team positions and times accrue points. Race water distance: 900m with attainments excluded. The race concludes by 15h30, and a river cruise departs at 16h30.

Day 3 – Competition Day 2
After breakfast, the race takes place from rapid #13 to #21. This also includes a fun 'Surf & Turf' competition for the best surf on the iconic Rapid 18, Oblivion. On this evening is usually quite the party, with screenings of the day's events, the prize-giving ceremony followed by post festival celebrations, all at The Waterfront. Details of the closing celebration will be confirmed closer to the dates.


Participants get special rates on accommodation - free camping, and discounted accommodation at the Waterfront and David Livingstone Safari Lodge. An Early Bird Discount is available for the first teams to book and pay by 31 August 2023. 2022 teams can register at a "VIP price", also by 31 August 2022.

2023 Registration

Registration has already begun for the 2023 event, which begins on 13 till 16 October. To register for the event and to get more information, email zaminfo@safpar.com.

2021 Highlights

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